Jan. 4, 2009

Courtesy University of Denver

DENVER - The No. 3 Boston University Terriers (13-4-1, 6-4-1 Hockey East) received a goal and an assist from senior forward Brandon Yip to claim a 4-1 victory over the No. 5 Denver Pioneers (13-6-2, 9-4-1 WCHA) tonight in front of 6,050 fans at Magness Arena in the championship game of the Wells Fargo Denver Cup.

The Terriers, appearing in their first-ever Wells Fargo Denver Cup, stopped the Pioneers' bid for a third straight title at the event and also ended the club's eight-game undefeated streak. Rhett Rakhshani (Huntington Beach, Calif.) notched DU's lone tally on the evening.

"I was very impressed with BU. I thought they had a great start and that won them the game," Denver head coach George Gwozdecky said. "They dominated the play for most of the first period. We were able to get back in it a little bit, but that's a pretty good senior class they have."

The Terriers took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Vinny Saponari opened the scoring at 7:14 after streaking into the offensive zone and firing a wrister from the right circle that clanked off the far post before settling into the goal. Boston University co-captain and tournament MVP Matt Gilroy made it a two-goal game when his point shot beat Marc Cheverie (Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia) at 11:05 with the Terriers on a power play.

A tally from Rakhshani at 17:41 of the second period cut the Terriers' lead in half. Rakhshani first stopped a clearing attempt by BU netminder Kieran Millan (33 saves) along the right boards before working a quick give-and-go with Anthony Maiani (Shelby Township, Mich.). Rakhshani received a return feed and buried his own rebound after his initial shot was stopped by Millan.

However, Yip answered back just 1:14 later by beating Cheverie (23 saves) on a quick shot following a faceoff win by Nick Bonino.

The only goal during a back-and-forth third period was an empty-net tally by Zach Cohen with 1:08 remaining in the contest.

"They had a comfortable lead in the third period and we had to throw a little more caution to the wind," Gwozdecky added. "You saw us playing with a lot more urgency late in the game and we were able to create a lot more chances. But there's no question that BU team deserves to be one of the top teams in the country."

The Pioneers outshot the Terriers by a 34-27 margin. BU finished 1-of-5 on the power play, while the Pioneers were held scoreless in seven opportunities.

The tournament's consolation game was held earlier in the day, with Holy Cross battling back from a two-goal deficit in the first period to top Rensselaer by a 4-3 score.

Everett Sheen recorded a goal for Holy Cross - his third of the tournament - and Jordan Cyr added an empty-net tally at 18:54 of the third period to give Holy Cross a 4-2 lead. Rensselaer's Josh Rabbani cut into the deficit on a goal with 47 seconds remaining, but Holy Cross netminder Ian Dams shut the door in the closing seconds to seal the win.

2009 Wells Fargo Denver Cup All-Tournament Team

F - Everett Sheen, Holy Cross
F - Jason Lawrence, Boston University
F - Anthony Maiani, University of Denver
D - Matt Gilroy, Boston University
D - David Warsofsky, Boston University
G - Kieran Millan, Boston University
MVP - Matt Gilroy, Boston University